At a time when COVID-19, RSV, and the flu cases are increasing, another infection that could be deadly is worrying health officials.
The potential rise in invasive group A strep (iGAS) infections among American children is being closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Invasive group A streptococcal disease, also known as GAS disease, is a severe infection that is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. In addition to more common conditions like strep throat and skin sores, the bacteria may also trigger more serious infections like necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome.
The disease known as “invasive GAS” may be passed from person to person by respiratory secretions, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of invasive GAS illness include fever, chills, fatigue, muscular pains, and redness or swelling.In extreme situations, the infection may cause sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s reaction to infection and can result in organ failure and ultimately death.
According to the data provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there have been a total of eleven instances of the infection that have been reported in the Denver metropolitan area since November 1 of this year. Children as young as 10 months old and as old as 6 years old were found to be infected with the disease.
At the moment, there is not a vaccination that can protect against strep A. But the CDC advises that parents make sure their kids are up-to-date on their flu and chickenpox shots. A child’s risk of getting strep A may increase if they’ve been exposed to the flu or chickenpox.